How SMAC Will Lead To Enterprise Apps Innovation


Innovation in Enterprise App Software, be it ERP, CRM, BI or project and portfolio management was considered to be difficult as these applications are the backbone of any organisation and an extensive people structure would have to be built to sustain these. Enterprises were not keen on accepting radical innovation; rather, they would stick to some upgraded version of the software. There are multiple reasons for the same. ERP or implementation of any other Enterprise Software Application is a cumbersome and costly process.  Also, these are mission-critical applications for any organisation and any major changes can have a direct impact on the productivity of the organisation.

However, the rapid changes in the technological landscape - especially with the advent of SMAC  (Social, mobile, analytics and cloud) coupled with global macro economic situation has left businesses with no choice, but to embrace innovation for faster strategic decision making to stay ahead of the competition.

Let us observe how SMAC technologies will lead to the innovation of enterprise apps.

Cloud technologies: Cloud is gaining popularity with the enterprises as it can reduce the upfront capital expenditure in buying hardware and can make the adoption of enterprise software much faster. With the concerns regarding Cloud like data security, regulations, slowly evaporating, we see more and more enterprises are adopting Cloud. The advantage with Cloud is enterprises don’t have to set-up and monitor their hardware and applications on premise. Rather, they can easily opt for a platform on Cloud. Cloud adoption is easily scalable and the enterprises can opt for on demand service, pay as per usage and at the same time have the access to latest technologies.  With cloud, it would also be easier to integrate enterprise software with other applications, making it much more efficient.

Large enterprises have already set up rigid systems internally, and it may not be possible for them to move to Cloud completely. They can opt for hybrid cloud keeping critical core applications on-premise, while the new innovations can move to Cloud. Small enterprises would be the biggest beneficiaries as they can afford latest technologies with minimum hassles. The new cloud entrants (Service providers) are providing attractive price points, pay per use models to attract both small and big enterprises, giving a run to traditional ways of working.

Out of all the technology trends in recent years, Cloud will probably have the greatest impact and will change the way Enterprise Applications have been delivered and implemented till date.

Mobility : There are some challenges with regard to mobile adoption in enterprise software and many believe that mobile can be used only to view dashboards and not for key business applications. Also, most of the users of these applications are based in offices and thus the use of these applications on mobile devices would be limited. Another challenge is mobile technology changes faster and it would be difficult to upgrade the Enterprise Applications software that frequently.

However, the new generation is more comfortable working on mobile and tablets and look for intuitive, user-friendly devices with attractive interfaces and mobile adoption in Enterprise Apps will see a huge surge in future.

Analytics : Enterprise Applications no doubt capture very useful information for an organisation. For a long time the data deluge was fed into simple BI tools for basic reporting, dash boarding, MIS, without much application of Analytical tools. However , advanced Analytical tools can really help organisations to infer meaningful insights from this data captured over the years. It can provide them sales forecasts, market trends, customer behaviour and the information can be generated real-time basis for faster decision making.

Analytics will clearly impact the Enterprise Applications market in future and enterprises who adapt advanced analytical tools will gain over their competition.

Social: Whether social media will have any impact on enterprise applications is a much debated topic. Conventional wisdom believes there is not much gain to bring in social media features in these applications and these are critical business applications meant for serious decision making.

However the new generation believes in collaborative work style. They believe that social media features can help them in collaborating with their managers, subordinates easily without wasting time. Currently, collaboration is done outside the software application realm, using e-mails, phones; however, with social media tools it can be more productive and effective. Also it can provide an attractive user interface rather than boring and bulky application.

Social media is also making inroads into field marketing, customer/ stakeholder relationship management, loyalty assessment, and similar endeavours where an enterprise seeks to address or respond to trends amongst a large user base. Mixed with Analytics, social media can deliver precisely tailored profiles and segments for any kind of outreach, validation, or response, especially when boosted by gamified approaches and analytics.

Social media is becoming a channel for discovery of social behaviour patterns, attitudes and allow prospective employees to be sized up clearly before proceeding with hiring steps. Likewise, it provides for employees to assess the footprint of a potential employer.